News Center

Elsewhere Online twitter Facebook SLS Blogs YouTube SLS Channel Linked In SLSNavigator SLS on Flickr

Stepping Back, U.S. Justices Defer to Judges on Sentencing

Publication Date: 
January 15, 2009
Daily Journal
Lawrence Hurley

Professor Pamela S. Karlan is quoted in the Daily Journal in an article about Wednesday's Supreme Court decision in Herring v. United States:

In a second 5-4 decision issued Wednesday, the court held that a police search that resulted from a record-keeping mistake made by a neighboring law enforcement agency was not unconstitutional. Herring v. United States, 07-513.

The case, out of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, arose when a Coffee County, Ga. police officer searched Bennie Herring after being told by a neighboring police department that there was a warrant on file.

It soon emerged that the warrant had been recalled several months earlier.

In an opinion authored by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the court held that the Fourth Amendment-based exclusionary rule that protects people from unconstitutional searches by not allowing prosecutors to use evidence found in such instances should not extend to isolated acts of negligence.


Wednesday's ruling was a loss for Pamela Karlan of Stanford Law School's Supreme Court clinic, who represented Herring. "We are very disappointed," she said. "I think there will end up being a lot of people whose rights are violated."